Bharti Airtel to buy Loop Mobile business in Mumbai for Rs 700 crore

PTI Posted online: Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Telecom major Bharti Airtel today announced to buy business and assets of Loop Mobile in Mumbai under a strategic agreement.

Bharti Airtel did not disclose the size of deal but sources close to the agreement said it is for about Rs 700 crore. Under the agreement, Loop Mobile's 3 million subscribers in Mumbai will join Airtel's over 4 million subscribers, making it a largest network in the metropolitan city, according to a statement by Bharti Airtel.

Under the proposed transaction, Loop Mobile's 2G-enabled network supported by 2,500 plus cell sites will also become part of Airtel's network which has over 4,000 cell sites at present.

The agreement will ensure continuity of services to Loop Mobile's subscribers, whose licence is expiring in November, with option to access Bharti Airtel's services.

Sources added that under the agreement, Bharti Airtel will not acquire employees of Loop Mobile. Status of Loop's employees could not be immediately ascertained.

Bharti Airtel agrees to buy smaller telecoms carrier Loop Mobile's operations

(Reuters) Bharti Airtel, India's top telecommunications carrier, said on Tuesday it had agreed to acquire smaller rival Loop Mobile - the first merger in the country's crowded telecoms market in nearly six years.

Bharti Airtel did not say how much it was paying for the assets of Loop Mobile, which operates only in the financial capital Mumbai. Sources said on Monday that Bharti would pay 3 billion rupees and take on 4 billion rupees of debt held by Loop.

The deal would take Bharti's total customers in Mumbai to more than 7 million, helping it surpass Vodafone by customer numbers in the city, though its market share by revenue for Mumbai would still lag Vodafone.

Bharti said in a statement the companies were yet to sign a definitive agreement and that the deal was subject to regulatory approval.